Orchestra Hall,Chicago, was crowded to the doors with billiard enthusiasts on the night of wednesday,November 23,1921.It was a night long to be remembered in world billiard annals.
It marked the dethronement of Willie Hoppe, his crown being tken by young Jacob Schaefer, son of the old wizard of the game,in his day champion of all champions.
The final score 500 to 346 and to win Schaefer had to break all records,his average of 83 being the best ever scored on a single game for the title.Prior to this deciding game of the 1921 International the score stood:
Hoppe                           51.23
Schaefer                       34.33
Cochran                        34.62
Conti                             28.6
Morningstar                  27.84
Horemans                     27.61
Sutton                          28.22
On the friday night previous Schaefer defeated Hoppe 400 to 26 in the last regular 400 point game of the tournament.That brought the tie,and this game of 500 points was the play-off.
To young Hoppe the first Schaefer unfolded all the mysteries of the game.He taught him every curve and tangent of billiards and Hoppe proved so apt a pupil that when old Jake passed on,Hoppe went in to the lead and remained there until this night of November.
Young Schaefer was only 15 years of age when his father passed away in 1910 and though his father showed him the game when he was only eight years of age and from that until he was fourteen,still Hoppe had the advantage over him by at least ten years,years that counted much at that period of the lives of the two youngsters.But even at that,before young Schaefer had reached his fifteenth year,the father had given to the son the methods needed to make him a succesful balkline player,lessons he never forgot and which really laid the foundation for his wonderfully succesful career.
In this game Schaefer won the bank and run 86 before missing.Hoppe,who had been of his stroke in this tournament then gave evidence of suddenly regaining his true form bu running 140 before missing.The tall,calm youngster took his cue and shot 212 of the most beauntiful billiards the thousands of spectators had ever seen.After this master inning both players seemed to relax under the high tension.But in the fifth inning Schaefer run 130,missing an easy chance.At this stage he had only 44 to go and Hoppe,realizing that he stood to loose his coveted championship,deliberately prepare for his master effort.He had the spheres in beauntiful position and was clicking the points when he miscued.The younger opponent quickly went out with an unfinished run 44.
The score was:
Schaefer 86,212,16,12,130,44-500.Average 83,33
Hoppe 140,26,7,126,47-346.Average 69,2
This tournament was the most important and best patronized in the history of the game.The tournament was held under the auspices of the Brunswick-Balke -Collender Company and much of its success was due to the work of President B.E.Bensinger of that company,who visited Europe and who,by enlisting Roger Conti of France and Edouard Horemans of Belgium,added to the tournament the international tinge that made it so interesting and of world prominence.
In the fine performances of the players this tournament was also the most wonderful in billiard history.All records were broken and the figures prove how wonderfully the great players have improved in their playing in the last few years.
The prizes:
1 Jacob Schaefer 3000$
2 Willie Hoppe 1500$
3 Welker Cochran 1000$
4 Roger Conti 750$
The ages of the players taking part in it were:Schaefer 27,Hoppe 34,Cochran 23,Conti 21,Morningstar 40,Horemans 36,Sutton 57.After this tournament Morningstar at 40 and Sutton at 57 dropped out of the running.They had until that 1921 year been considered among the first flight of great balkline players.